Thursday, January 22, 2015

Technology Needs Versus Learning

On Monday, I got to participate in an all-day meeting about our district’s five year tech plan. Through the course of the day, I had a couple ideas that crystallized in my head.

Photo is mine
Five year tech plans are fine. They’re necessary. They give some structure to where a district is headed, and about how time, money, and energy should be focused.

However…

It is also completely putting the cart before the horse.

What do classrooms look like now? And compared to that answer, what SHOULD classrooms look like now? What should classrooms look like in five years?

But more importantly, what does learning look like right now, in 2015? What SHOULD learning look like in 2015? What should learning look like in five years, in 2020?

If a large-scale plan around technology is going to be created, these are questions that need to be addressed.

These discussions need to happen at a site level. They need to happen at a district level. Because without that shared vision of what learning is, and should be, now - and in the future! - what is the point of a long term tech plan? If you don’t know what learning looks like, how can you know what tech you will need? Or what furniture you will need? Or really, how can you know just about anything that you might need?

If the understandings of learning are different - and not co-constructed, or even unearthed - any sort of plan around future technology needs will get pulled in about fifteen different directions.